Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Awareness Month

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the third leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more than 356,000 people each year, including more than 7,000 youth under age 18.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating.

When SCA happens, the person collapses and doesn’t respond or breathe normally. They may gasp or shake as if having a seizure.

SCA leads to death in minutes if the person does not get help right away. Survival depends on people nearby calling 911, starting hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and using an automated external defibrillator (AED), if available, as soon as possible.

SCA is not a heart attack. A heart attack is caused by impeded blood flow through the heart. SCA is caused by a structural or electrical problem, often from an undetected heart condition, and in other instances, from an infection or a severe blow to the chest. In 95% of cases, the SCA victim is lost.

As noted by the Institute of Medicine, the SCA survival rate has remained stagnant for three decades because we aren’t as prepared as we should be to save a life.

There is a critical need to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and educate people about prevention strategies and how to take immediate action in the case of a cardiac emergency.

These heart organizations offer information about:

  • risk factors and potential warning signs of a heart condition
  • preventative heart screenings
  • the Cardiac Chain of Survival that anyone can use to save a life
  • how to administer hands-only CPR and use an AED
  • cardiac emergency response plans
  • treatment options for SCA survivors and those living with a heart condition
  • flyers, posters, fact sheets, videos and training tools for SCA prevention
American College

American College of Cardiology

The mission of the College and its more than 52,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health.

American Heart

American Heart Association

The nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, we fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives.


Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation

CCF actively works with federal agencies, medical societies, voluntary health organizations, and hospitals nationwide to increase awareness, accelerate research, and advance education on pediatric cardiomyopathy, a chronic diseaseof the heart muscle.

Heart Rhythm

Heart Rhythm Society

The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

We are committed to providing support, education, advocacy and advancing research, understanding and care of those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Mended Hearts

Mended Hearts

Our mission is dedicated to inspiring hope and improving the quality of life for heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support.


Parent Heart Watch

We are the national voice solely dedicated to sudden cardiac arrest prevention in youth. Take the Prevention Promise and use our free 5 to Stay Alive toolkit to educate yourself and your community about how to save a young life.


Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation

Our mission is to save the lives and support the families of children and adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden cardiac death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association

We are dedicated to promoting solutions to prevent sudden cardiac death, including increased awareness, immediate bystander action, public access to defibrillation (PAD), cardiovascular disease prevention, and access to preventative therapies.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

Our vision is to increase awareness about SCA and influence changes that will reduce mortality through the increased use of bystander CPR and AEDs.

Woman Heart

Women Heart

Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women living with or at risk of heart disease, and to advocate for their benefit.